Thursday, March 12, 2015

Is This What's Wrong With the City of Eureka?

When the City of Eureka was looking for a new Police Chief they had, what was supposed to be several opportunities, meetings, where local Eureka citizens could voice their wants and needs in their selection. What I heard was the strong desire of the many to avoid hiring someone with the policing policy like the retiring Murl Harpham. However, the voting citizens had already voiced their opinions when they elected the various members of Eureka City Council. Those public meets turned out to be nothing more than a ruse to placate some people who honestly believed they might have some say in the actual selection - they did not. Problem was, the person ultimately responsible for that choice, the City Manager, was a person selected without any public input. So what did the people of Eureka get for a new Police Chief. Someone that serves the people of Eureka, someone that upholds and enforces law, or the City Manager who serves the political interest of the City Council? We've had over a year for him to define and answer that question. Tragically, from what I've observed, the Eureka people got another Murl Harpham. Either way, that's what the people voted for.

Ferguson City Manager Faulted in DOJ Report Resigns

The city manager of Ferguson, Missouri, has resigned in the continued fallout from a federal probe into systemic racial bias. In its report last week, the Justice Department blamed John Shaw for overseeing a municipal system that targets African Americans for arrest and then profits off of their fines. Ferguson Mayor James Knowles announced Shaw’s departure.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles: "I think the city and John came to a mutual agreement that we want to be able to move forward as a community. John and the city felt this was an opportunity to do that and start fresh."

As city manager, Shaw was the most powerful local official in Ferguson. His departure comes one day after the local municipal court judge, Ronald Brockmeyer, was also forced to resign his post. A court clerk and two police supervisors were forced out last week for sending racist emails.
Here's a description of the Eureka City Managers job in Eureka as detailed on the city's website.
"Duties and Responsibilities: Serves as the chief administrative officer of the City and is responsible to the City Council for the effective administration of all affairs of the City; attends all meeting and sessions of the City Council; recommends for adoption by the City Council such measures as deemed necessary  or expedient; ensures that all laws, ordinances, and policies of the City Council are faithfully executed; prepares and submits to the City Council such reports as may be required by that body and as he may deem advisable to submit; keeps the Council and the community fully advised of the financial condition of the City and prepares a preliminary annual budget for consideration by the City Council." [Emphasis added]
Then there's is this update on the Ferguson situation: 2 Officers Shot at Ferguson Protest Marking Police Chief’s Resignation - a rather tragic reality to the enforced blanket impunity.
Two police officers have been shot during a protest outside the Ferguson police headquarters early this morning. The shooting came just hours after Police Chief Thomas Jackson quit following last week’s Justice Department report finding widespread racial bias in the city’s criminal justice system. Jackson is the sixth Ferguson official to be forced out in the wake of the report, including the city manager and the top municipal judge. Police say both of the wounded officers have "serious" injuries.
All you have to do is listen to the explanations from St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar and you know exactly why people are so upset in Ferguson. You can readily see what his attitude is.
Yet Belmar believes someone targeted the police, who have braved heated criticism for months, for a reason.
"These police officers were standing there, and they were shot just because they were police officers," he said. [Emphasis added]

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